I moved back to New York City five years ago and the city is different from when I left. I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly what it is, but Colin Quinn sums it up in Colin Quinn: The New York Story. In doing so he gives us a history lesson that is so irreverent and funny that my face hurt from laughing by the end of the show.
Quinn’s characterizations of the immigrants that helped shape the city are nothing new, but he certainly has his own spin on how their cultures impacted who we have become – the Germans gave us our brashness, the Irish our sarcasm, the Jews the art of complaining, and the Puerto Ricans our rapid speech. We are just one big melting pot — but one that he feels has become homogenized. According to Quinn, the most colorful characters left today are Elmo and the superheroes in Times Square.
Much of what Quinn says is politically incorrect and racially insensitive, but he has so much love for this city and its people that you can’t take offense. He admits that all the changes aren’t bad – 42nd street is no longer full of pimps and you no longer take your life in your hands walking through some parts of the city. But he did make me nostalgic. It’s pretty sad that the only character that NYC can claim today is Donald Trump and he leans more to caricature. LAR
Cherry Lane Theater – 38 Commerce Street
Ticket prices: $55-$95
Discounts available: ColinQuinnTheNewYorkStory.com Code: CQPLAY2 (excluding Fri. & Sat)
Running time: 1 hour, no intermission
Runs thru: January 31, 2016